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India’s National Cancer Grid sets up digital…

India’s National Cancer Grid sets up digital…

The National Cancer Grid in India, a government-backed network of organisations focused on cancer care and research, has established the Koita Centre for Digital Oncology. 

According to a press release, the centre aims to promote the use of digital technologies to enhance cancer care across India.

The non-profit organisation Koita Foundation has recently signed a memorandum of understanding with NCG’s grantor Tata Memorial Centre to support the newly established centre for five years. The Koita Foundation has also helped establish the Koita Centre for Digital Health, which focuses on driving academic programs, research, and industry collaborations in digital health.

WHY IT MATTERS

In 2020, there were around 2.7 million people in India who lived with cancer. Each year, about 1.4 million Indians are getting diagnosed with cancer, claiming 850,000 lives. As cases grow each year, digital tools are increasingly becoming indispensable in enhancing cancer care.

The KCDO will help drive the digital transformation across India’s cancer care ecosystem, according to the Department of Atomic Energy, which established the NCG. 

It will help create an “innovation ecosystem” of hospitals, healthcare technology companies, academic institutions and research organisations to address challenges in cancer care, said Dr Rajendra Badwe, director of the Tata Memorial Centre.

The centre will assist over 270 NCG partner hospitals in sharing best practices in digital health, adopting digital health tools, and driving common technology initiatives, including EMR adoption, healthcare data interoperability, reporting and analytics. 

Moreover, the KCDO will enable the NCG and its member institutions to pilot and adopt emerging technologies, including AI, machine learning, big data, automation, and cloud computing. These technologies will in turn power telemedicine and remote patient monitoring that will make healthcare more accessible in semi-urban and rural communities.

The centre will push the adoption of AI-assisted clinical decision support tools in enhancing doctors’ ability to provide care, as well as mobile patient engagement apps to help patients better manage their medications and comply with treatment guidelines.

It also plans to introduce healthcare data analytics across hospitals to enable tracking and benchmarking of clinical outcomes and the effectiveness of different treatment and care pathways. 

Additionally, the KCDO will seek partnerships with academic and research groups to promote research and development in cancer care.

THE LARGER TREND

According to Rizwan Koita, director of Koita Foundation, the KCDO could help facilitate the greater adoption of the Indian government’s Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, which is a “key national priority”.

The ABDM is developing the foundations of India’s integrated digital health infrastructure by connecting different healthcare stakeholders through digital pathways.

In other related news around Asia-Pacific, National Cancer Centre Singapore has recently teamed up with GE Healthcare to develop new AI-driven cancer care solutions.

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